Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Handbook

The BFA Degree

How many credits do I need to graduate with a BFA?

BFA credits – 128  (72 studio, 56 non studio)

 

Every term during your 4 years should look approximately like this:
One Penny Stamps Speaker Series 1 credit
Two Academic courses 6 credits
Three Studio courses 9 credits
Total: 16 credits per term (average)

16 credits x 8 terms = 128 credits
128 credits = a BFA in Art & Design! Like magic.

 
Here’s another way to look at the BFA.
Studio Courses 72 credits
Required Studio Courses 33
Elective Studio Courses* 39
Non-Studio Courses 56 credits
Required Academic Courses 17
Elective Academic Courses 39
Milestone Requirements no credit
Sophomore Review  
International Experience  
Milestone Requirements no credit
Sophomore Review  
International Experience  
BFA in Art & Design - Total 128 credits

Internships count as academic experiential credits.

*One studio must be an Engagement Studio.

 
Sample Plan of Study: BFA

Note: required courses are in red/underlined.

First Year
Fall Semester credits
Studio: Drawing 1 (ARTDES 100) 3
Studio: 2D (ARTDES 115) 3
Studio: 3D (ARTDES 120) 3
Art and Design in Context (ARTDES 150) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 13-18
Winter Semester credits
Studio: Drawing 2 (ARTDES 105) 3
Studio: 4D (ARTDES 125) 3
Studio: Methods of Inquiry (ARTDES 130) 3
Art & Design History (ARTDES 151) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 13-18

THE SUMMARY: The first year experience at Stamps is designed to help you explore new media, refine your foundational skills, and prepare you to chart your own customized path through the Stamps open curriculum, starting in your sophomore year. You’ll be working closely with your advisor to address one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your college career: BFA or BA? We also recommend that you take the First Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) in your first year.

FIRST YEAR TIPS: Photo documentation of your work is critical. Trust us — it will pay off next year.

 

Second Year
Fall Semester credits
Elective Studio (200 Level) 3
Elective Studio (200 Level) 3
Elective Studio (200 Level) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18
Winter Semester credits
Elective Studio (200 or 300 Level) 3
Elective Studio (200 or 300 Level) 3
Second Year Studio (ARTDES 220) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18

THE SUMMARY: The second year experience at Stamps is designed to give you the freedom to schedule courses that speak most directly to the themes, topics, and methods that fuel your creative, inquiry-led work. A milestone during this year is the Sophomore Review, a time for you to reflect on your work and get feedback and advice from faculty.

SECOND YEAR TIPS: The summer after your sophomore year is a good time to complete your International Experience requirement. Depending on your type of International Experience, application deadlines can range from December-March, so start planning in September.

 

Third Year
Fall Semester credits
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective/ARTDES 399 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18
Winter Semester credits
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective/ARTDES 399 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18

THE SUMMARY: This year is about preparing for senior year success. This means that your course schedule will have less breadth and more depth as you delve into advanced level classes. You’ll prepare for your Integrative Project (IP) success by taking an Engagement Studio and an upper-level writing course in your third year.

THIRD YEAR TIPS: If you haven’t already fulfilled your International Experience requirement, the second semester of this year is also a very popular time — keep deadlines in mind when planning. Also, the summer after your junior year is a great time to do an internship.

 

Fourth Year
Fall Semester credits
Integrative Project 6
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18
Winter Semester credits
Integrative Project 6
Elective Studio (300 - 400 Level) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16-18

THE SUMMARY: In your final year at Stamps, you will pull together everything you’ve been learning so you can pursue a self-directed, year-long, “professional grade” project called Integrative Project (IP). You’ll also be spending a lot of time at Stamps Career Prep events (or considering/applying to graduate programs). And if you have any academic requirements left to complete, this is the time to do them.

FOURTH YEAR TIPS: Senior year can be exhilarating, but it can also be stressful. Make sure you’re tending to your self care and your mental health during this hectic time of life (see our Academic Support section for information on in-house Stamps therapist, Karen Henry).

 
Checklist: BFA

Here's a handy checklist to make sure you're on track to graduate.

PDF Icon  BFA Checklist (PDF)